How Common Are Complications from Cheek Augmentation?

I have had cheek augmentation done twice by two different doctors using the same technique (through the mouth) with Radiesse.

I did not realize until recently that there is a risk of nerve damage and worse, the possibility of blindness if injected into a nerve or vessel in the target area!

I am not sure if I want to resume with my treatments after the finding of this. How prevalent is this problem from cheek augmentation with fillers and is there any technique to minimize the risks?

Doctor Answers 5

Complications After Cheek Augmentation

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Complications from the use of radiesse filler for cheek augmentation are relatively rare. Though you are right about the possibility of nerve damage or very rare possibility of blindness, as long as you are visiting a qualified and experienced doctor, this is very rare. The main downside of a filler to augment cheeks is the volume and shape is generally less significant that a cheek implant and the filler will dissolve over the period of a year.

Permanent cheek implants are a good alternative to repeated injections.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Cheek implantation is a safe and easy way to get permanent volume enhancement.  Injections are fine but they have to be repeated and are not risk free.  Cheek implants (I prefer Medpore) are place through the mouth so there are no external incisions.  General anesthesia is usually employed but in select patients, local with some sedation might suffice.

Complications after Radiesse Injections into the Cheeks

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Nerve damage and blindness are possible after Radiesse injctions into the cheeks, but this is so unlikey I would personally have the procedure without concern. The best way to minimize the risk is to have an experienced MD do the injections. Permanent silicone cheek implants are also an alternative.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Cheek implants are a better solution

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The best solution for cheek augmentation is to use cheek implants, and not Radiesse. Radiesse is only temporary to this area and will require a large volume to augment the cheeks properly. Silastic cheek implants come in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes and can be customized to fit and form what the patient’s goals and desires are.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Real risks from cheek augmentation, but also rare

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

These risks are real but also very rare. To help avoiding this, it is better to use the retrograde injection technique to avoid injection into a vessel.

Also, some blunt needle are available, which minimizes the chance of hitting a vessel or a nerve.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.